A Tree Glows in Brooklyn

It’s a bit belated, but with so much festive goings on in the neighborhood and points North, South, East, and West the Doop Crew has been too busy toasting the world with real champagne to think about virtual merriment… but from our mangy manger to yours, Merry Christmas from Doopalus Plus! We had a most festive tree trimming (the Banjo’s first tree), finding the only fluffy scotch pine I’ve ever seen for sale at the strange and marvelous Tom Joad migrant Christmas Tree Shanties that spring up out of the pavement nothingness across New York City next to bodegas and churches after Thanksgiving. I had enough ornaments on hand for a spindly tree (read: the most extravagant fake tree I could afford from the country KMart upon discovering that my college roommate was allergic to Christmas… another corollary: when I moved to Brooklyn I donated the tree to the Salvation Army on Atlantic Avenue where my donation receipt read: One (1) EXTREMELY Large Wicker Basket, One (1) Pair 1986 Skis, Seventeen (17) pairs high heels, One (1) Artificial Christmas Tree), but not enough ornaments for such a large and full specimen, so we festooned the tree with everything we had on hand: tiny feathered birds, prisms from the Le marche aux puces de Saint Ouen, dollar store baubles, and a chinatown dragon from cousin Charlotte. Nipsey helped set it all up:

And dear folk, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the celebrated Hornsby Family Egg Nog (made from scratch, served with love and fresh nutmeg). Our family is one of barrel chested watermen-turned-oilmen, consummate entertainers, gentlemen raconteurs, merry pranksters, music makers and songstresses, and intimates of the marvelous stiff southern drink… when it would be Christmas at the Big House, laughter would shake the chandeliers. This recipe, which comes from the Hornsby Family Cookbook, should be tripled for a festive gathering of 20 or more:

And a very merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!


Nipsey Russell


For those of you who might not know, Nipsey Russell was the “Poet Laureate of Television”. Though his career is varied and extensive, and his talents manifold, I first became aware of Nipsey as a  frequent guest on my favorite game show of all time, Pyramid. Hosted by the teak-faced Dick Clark and often featuring prizes such as sony walkmen, casio keyboards, and trips to Puerto Vallarta, Pyramid in the early 1980’s is the culmination of game show valor and skill, shoulder pads, and Mr. Russell’s impromptu verse:

Nipsey, known for breaking color barriers, freestyling rhymes (spawning many imitators), and pairing the brightest smile with the hypest turtlenecks, passed away five years ago this week. He was, and will continue to be, one hip cat.


My cat, Nipsey Russell

“The girl that I would marry. Need not be young and fair. She should be a nymphomaniac. And be a millionaire!”